As an entrepreneur, I often find myself in scary, intimidating and vulnerable places.
Years ago, when I started my business, I got this wild idea that I’d like to integrate my life-long love of horses into coaching people in life and leadership. I remember the strange stares, “What are you going to do?” “How does it work?”
Despite the doubtful questions, I said yes to me. I followed where I knew I was meant to go. I headed to northern California to immerse myself into a month-long program of becoming an equine guided coach. I remember the underlying question tone, even when my always-supportive mother said to me, “I hope it works?….”
Somehow, I had a deeper knowing that it would work. I listened to my heart – and it said go. And so I did.
During the final week in California, I got a voice message out of the blue from an executive wanting to know more about my coaching work. While I had been coaching people for several months at this point, I hadn’t actually charged anyone yet! I remember the angst in my gut as I prepared for that sales call, practicing outloud what I would say, reaching my arms into the air in passion to fill my body with confidence. I remember quietly closing the bedroom door of that ranch house to make the call – sitting on the edge of my bed and dialing him back. And I remember the dance I did in that tiny room when he said, “Yes he wanted to be my client!”
When I returned, I launched my company with all the fanfare and communications that an ex-marketing exec could expertly bring to the table, but underlying all of this was the constant little voice that asked, “What will others think? What if it doesn’t work? What will this do to my reputation?”
But again, I moved forward. I said, “Yes, I’m going to do this.” I took a leap of faith.
It is said that it only takes 20 seconds of courage (watch the movie “We bought a Zoo!”). Leaving the corporate world and becoming an entrepreneur has literally taken hundreds, if not thousands, of those courage moments.
Today these courage moments come in different shapes and forms – but rarely does a week go by that I don’t tune into my own vulnerabilities. I cherish these moments – because I know that my own vulnerability and stepping into my courage is what makes my business thrive.
No matter who you are, what you do or where you are in your life – you’ve got an opportunity today to step into your 20 seconds of courage. I recently had 30 women executives share their personal stories of courage at my inaugural Extraordinary Women Connect event. These wildly successful women – presidents, vice presidents, directors, board members – shared their vulnerability. They shared their wisdom and trust in their inner knowing. They shared their 20 seconds of courage. And in those stories we learned.
Today I’m going to share with you the secrets of courage shared by these wildly successful women. Let it bring inspiration to you to step into your vulnerability. Let it be inspiration to step into the life you’re meant to be living – and thrive!
1) Listen to your heart. Listen to the ideas and thoughts that keep returning to you in your daylight hours or in your dreams. If something keeps coming back to you – there is a reason. Follow that reason. Explore it, get to know it and vision it.
2) Take a leap of faith. Sometimes you just have to walk forward, walk away or jump in.
3) Stick with it. Great things take persistency. The road is rarely a straight line, and very often we cannot guess the direction it will take us to get to the end. Trust in it.
4) Embrace that scary vulnerable place. You know it. That knot in your stomach, the electric nerve pulsations, the twitch in your shoulder. Breathe into it, and say yes to you. Watch an Amy Cuddy or Brene Brown TED Talk. Dance around a room. Then do it.
5) Build a support system. No one moves through great change in their lives alone. Find your cheer leaders. Discover mentors.
I’d love to hear what your heart is calling out for! And if you want some help to follow your heart’s desire, jump in and move past that scary vulnerable place, grab one of my limited Yes to You Strategy Sessions! That first step only takes 20 seconds of courage!